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Meet Jay Co of yogaraj in Sawtelle Area

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jay Co.

Jay, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
It took a friend of mine a year to convince me to try yoga. I was too young to be having back issues. She said it would help. I didn’t want to stretch for an hour. She said, I would be surprised. I fell in love with it instantly and I’ve been practicing ever since.

I started teaching shortly afterward in 1999. It made a lot of sense to me and was a very natural transition since I had already been teaching martial arts for years. Especially back then, I looked at yoga a lot like doing tai chi on all fours.

I started teaching yoga full time around 2008. In 2014, I got the opportunity to take over a studio I had been teaching at and I opened yogaraj. It’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It hasn’t been totally smooth but I have no complaints. It’s tough to find great teachers. It’s hard to lead a team and manage different personalities. And it’s possible that I am allergic to paperwork. But then you learn great lessons out of all of that too. Maybe the one thing that I would say is a constant struggle is continuously monitoring the balance between running a business and living the practice of yoga. I wish I could just give yoga away to everyone for free, but obviously, there are practical considerations that also have to be met.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with yogaraj – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
We aim to deliver a physical practice that still keeps meditation at its core. We definitely still sweat and work and play and encourage our students to explore the limits of their body physically, but we shy away from presenting yoga as fitness. We believe that the most life-changing aspect of yoga is the regular practice of sitting at the center of your own undivided attention. The exercise you get, as amazing as it is, is secondary. I love when our students tell us how much they get out of learning how to settle their thoughts. I love when they tell us that walking into our studio reminds them of how yoga “used to be.” I love it when they tell me that our studio is welcoming, unpretentious, and supportive because all of this is what we were going for when we opened.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
We’ve only been open for three years and most of the learning curve for me as an owner/manager/teacher has been finding that balance between living the practice and running a business, as I mentioned in a previous answer. once I feel like I really understand where that balance sits for me and for yogaraj, I’d love to open another location or two. But I think that’s still down the road some.


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